The feedback revealed that the company’s partners overwhelmingly wanted greater simplicity in the new channel program. They also wanted more predictability from the program especially around base rebate rates.
The partners had spoken, so Dell EMC endeavoured to make the new program more simple and predictable than the legacy programs.
Wright suggests that, come February, partners can expect a channel program that is not only simpler and more predictable, but pays higher rebates than the legacy EMC program did, and higher rebates in several instances than we were available in the legacy Dell program.
One of the things that makes the new program more predictable comes in the form of a technical solution. Partners will have access to online tools that they can check at any time and find out exactly where they stand in terms of their quarterly performance and the resulting rebates.
“They [partners] can check their orders have gone through, work out how they’re going, and work out how many dollars they have to sell in the last week to make the gate,” Wright said. “This way, partners won’t wait until after the quarter and find out they missed [a rebate incentive] by a dollar. Now we can use the partners’ tools to view where they’re at, at any time.”
In terms of channel program structure, Dell EMC has retained a tiered system, with the new model referencing a metal-based ranking model: gold, platinum, and titanium - the latter of which can lead to the exclusive titanium black status for partners that make the grade.
Within these tiers, however, the company has introduced what Wright calls “swim-lanes” – a type of industry sub-sector vertical partitioning to help the program better accommodate particular partner types. Given that Dell EMC’s portfolio of products and services is so diverse, it made sense to offer some individuation within the broader channel categories in the program.
“We now have an exact program for those partners we call OEM, for example, for the solution providers, for the service providers,” Wright said.
The need for these “swim-lanes” was, once again, drawn from the partner feedback the company received during the partner meetings it held around the globe. Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of conflicting needs among the diverse array of partners that chipped in with feedback.
“We built a program to help deal with that,” Wright said. “You may have a partner that sits in multiple categories, but in their divisions we can now deal with their divisions in the way they want to be dealt with, not simply average it out and compromise.
“Very clearly, they’ve told us there are different needs for different partner types,” he said.
Ultimately, Dell EMC came up with a ‘status match’ approach to put partners in their appropriate tiers once the new program comes into effect. This will mean that if a partner is on a legacy Dell or EMC tier, it will get matched into the relevant tier under the new system.
Partners will be placed in whichever tier they ranked highest in their respective legacy Dell or EMC partner program tiers.
“We’ve come up with a way of taking the existing Dell tiers, the existing EMC tiers, and created a program in the middle, so people know exactly where they’re going to end up in the new year,” said Wright.